The Job-seeker Side of Things

Some thoughts based on recent conversations I’ve had with friends in the job market:

  • I’ve tweeted about this, but one friend of mine had two potential jobs about a month ago. Well, three — the third was her current job. Anyhow, she took the job with the organization who “got it” the best, with “got it” being parenthood. She’s smart, works hard, but wants flexibility. I know of other moms looking at quitting jobs for the same reason. Their employers from what I gather seem to think they are unmotivated, not into the company enough, and so on, when in reality they just want more flexibility.
  • One quality friend of mine, who trains people, particularly salespeople, is employed also, but looking for a job where he would travel less. He called me for advice, and among other things, I suggested he expand his LinkedIn profile a bit. He did so, and then called me to say that “I did what you said, but no one is calling me.” At first, his comment seemed silly; on second thought, there has been so much said and written about how job-seekers should do this or that on LinkedIn, and employers will find you — that it didn’t surprise me. Perhaps we all need to be clearer that recruiters are still most heavily recruiting people in certain industries, jobs, and geographies. 
  • Regarding that same friend … I’ve mentioned to him a couple of times that one of the most common ways employers find people is via referrals. But his response was similar to what many people experience: he has, of course, tapped that out. Of course he has asked the people he knows and tried to work through those who they know. And when he moves out into 3rd and 4th-degree contacts, it becomes a matter of “your neighbor’s dog trainer knows my cousin’s barber?” sort of thing, which isn’t doing him much good.
  • Another quality friend of mine is a sales/marketing guy. He was recently laid off and really needs to work — but says he doesn’t want a job. Don’t get me wrong: he’s searching for full-time work almost non-stop, but wants to officially be classified as a contractor, as he simply sees this, ironically, as in some ways more stable than being on a payroll. Of course, many on ERE and elsewhere have said this for years, but you don’t often hear job-seekers saying it.
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